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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2003
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    GA
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    Default Greg Best Clinic - Tips & What To Expect

    I am very excited to be sending in my paperwork for a Greg Best clinic next month! I have a friend who cliniced with him in the Midwest a couple of years ago and loved him.

    I am an old lady hunter rider and signing up for the 2'6" section...all 3 days.

    Anyone who has done his clinics care to share any preparation tips, or experiences at his clinics? OK to hear both good and bad. I've been reading old COTH posts and checking out Youtube, too.

    TIA



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2001
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    Member of both the Southern California and Michigan clique - currently residing in Grand Rapids, MI
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    1,555

    Default Does anyone have a list of his clinic dates/locations?

    I have a baby I'd love to take to some clinics.

    Lucky you... have fun!

    TIA!



  3. #3
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    Jan. 30, 2003
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    GA
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    Default

    giggle...I probably haven't done a BNT clinic since Bernie Traurig in 1979! This should be interesting!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Currituck NC
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    Default

    Use your corners, that is probably something he HAMMERS over and over for both hunters and jumpers. I got to come sit in the center of the ring and chat with him with my jumper mare while the hunters went round and round and round...trying to get it right (of course, I had the advantage of clinicing with him 3 times before so knew what he was looking for).

    umm...don't lean, he really wants you listening (my student did one as well and he got quite aggravated with her, which is nice because thats something I've been frustrated with as well, the way she tunes out and doesn't pay attention).

    At 2'6" your going to be pretty straight forward, probably dealing with some LL riders. I've sworn I'm never doing 2'6" again since he spent quite a bit of time dealing with other riders on some pretty basic stuff, but I'm hoping to take my baby this spring so would either be in the 2' or 2'6" (she's turning 4 in may). I'm SUPER excited, I adore him and really love his approach and his ability to work with both the rider and the horse so I'm hoping to get some good tips.

    Overall though, practice driving into the corner and really taking advantage of your ring. He had me do an exercise where I looked at the horses ears instead of through my turn. He had quite a few of the other kids hook their stirrup leathers together and laid them across the seat of the saddle to help with leaning.

    He love consistency and pace. He had an exercise where he had a pole, 7 strides, vertical, 7 strides pole and he wanted to see the exact same striding between both poles, ie, horse not rushing on landing.

    He's great, pretty much a tell it like it is, but still isn't going to be a "mean" as George Morris. He's very insightful with your horse as well. If you are having any issues, be prepared for him to fiddle with your bit, he normally has a big box and might be switching you out. I know he took my very strong pony at my first clinic from a pelham, to a mullen rubber mouth...and turned her into a quiet, soft, responsive pony, vs. the pulling anxious one she was before.

    Attire is usually polo shirts, nice pads both fleece and square, and horses are normally booted up.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    Yes, as Jumper_girl said all of those things! He is very personable and if you TRY to do what he wants, you will get along. There was one girl at one of the clinics (I did two with him) who did NOT try and he got a bit harsh with her. He does NOT believe in trotting fences AT ALL so just warning you there, you don't get to trot a fence to warmup!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2003
    Posts
    32

    Default

    My daughter did a clinic with Greg Best and he's great. Big on balance and position. Extremely honest so have a thick skin. You'll learn a lot!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    203

    Default

    My daughter, who always tries very hard no matter what she is doing, loved his clinics and got a lot out of them. My son, who ran Greg over in the middle of the ring while riding his evil small pony, has never heard the end of it from Greg, and refuses to ride with him anymore!



  8. #8
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    Oct. 18, 2002
    Location
    CA
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    1,841

    Default

    Are you doing the one at Three Bears? I'm hoping to audit on Friday!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
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    5,383

    Default

    Bring your hearing aid...I thought it was hard to hear him sometimes.

    If you're riding crooked, he has a very interesting exercise. You take off your stirrups, buckle the stirrup leathers together in one long loop, and put them over the pommel of the saddle. Then you do your flat work like that. If you are riding off one hip or one stirrup, you'll know in no time.

    He'll make you think before you react.

    He's nice to look at.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
    Location
    CA
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    11,777

    Default

    Agree with others. Be straight to the jump and away from the jump. Use the full ring, do not cut corners. Listen and try.

    I thought he was fantastic...very insightful, saw my issues extremely quickly gave me good things to work on..it's been a year and a half and I still use his comments almost every ride. He gave me a compliment that still makes me smile. Once I'm ready, I will be taking another clinic with him.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2007
    Location
    Zone 7
    Posts
    708

    Default

    I've cliniced with Greg several times, three times this last year...

    I adore him!

    Present yourself like he's GM. Clean, shiny, tucked, brushed and polished. He does really appreciate that. (Although he may not tell you that, especially if this is your first time riding with him, he did tell me and the other girl in my section last time I went.)

    His version of straight is different than some people's. You want to be straight relative to how you approach the fence, especially on landing. Don't follow the curve of the rail, stay straight for as long as you can without running into the fence.

    You want to ride with as much power as you can contain and control, always. Flat and jumps. Don't trot the first jump unless you're directly asked to.

    Listen, try, and be as straight and correct as possible. (A bit of no-irons before you go won't hurt, although he probably won't make you do any.) Be prepared to ride a hole or two shorter or longer than normal. You may get adjusted a good bit depending on your height and how big your horse is.

    Just smile and take a deep breath! He's a super teacher with a super logical method to training, riding and teaching.

    Don't forget to post after and let us know what you think!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2003
    Location
    GA
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    Default

    Thanks all! Should be interesting as many things described in your posts are definitely pain points for us! But I think that's actually great...I have no interest in going to a clinic (especially at this price) to be told "great...good...fine", and would love to leave with practical ideas/exercizes to work on correcting our problems.

    But it is funny...
    pelham...check.
    crooked...check.
    inconsistent pace...check.
    leaning and bad use of corners...check.
    working all winter on trot/walk jumps to sloooow busy mare...check.

    I can't wait...really...!! I think my coach would say I do listen and try, so I think we will be OK there. And I will certainly show him respect by turning out properly!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,649

    Default

    Looks like we'll be in the same session, but I'm only doing Sat. and Sun. I would like to do the 3' section, but I have a young horse and don't want to overwhelm him.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice on what to expect. I audited his clinic several years ago when my friend (Three Bears Farm owner) rode in it, and I remember liking it, but I can't remember specifics.

    It'll be my first clinic in several years. The last one I did was Bert Mutch, which I LOVED.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 1999
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,660

    Default

    could someone explain to me the stirrup leather thing? I'm interested in trying that myself, but can't quite visualize how the stirrups stay on, since I keep visualizing them sliding off the end...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
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    11,273

    Default

    I really want to try that stirrup thing. He didn't do that with me even though I am crazy crooked, so I want to try that now!

    One thing he did with me a couple times that I've seen him do at clinics with others is take the reins over the horse's head, then have you hold them like handles (I don't know how to explain this - the buckle of the reins is under the horse's neck- you are holding the reins normally but the bight is under the neck instead of looped to one side or the other). It really forces you to follow the horse (and keep your hands closed. haha!)
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Currituck NC
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    1,637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FlightCheck View Post
    could someone explain to me the stirrup leather thing? I'm interested in trying that myself, but can't quite visualize how the stirrups stay on, since I keep visualizing them sliding off the end...
    I tried to look through the archives from my clinic because there was a girl jumping so far ahead you could see the leathers across the seat, but they aren't up anymore...

    Anyway, your left stirrup is buckled to your right stirrup and vice versa, so that both leathers form a large loop, with the stirrups in the loop. He gets the length correctly, and then lays it flat across the seat of the saddle, with the buckles adjusted down by the stirrup, and then you sit on the leathers. If you lean, the stirrups aren't connected to the actual saddle, so its going to give, almost like riding in a bareback pad, or a saddle with a loose girth.

    Clear as mud? its really hard to explain, but a really effective exercise. He says every rider should do it at least once a month to "check" yourself for any leaning issues.



  17. #17
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    Apr. 30, 2009
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    Currituck NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roisin View Post
    Thanks all! Should be interesting as many things described in your posts are definitely pain points for us! But I think that's actually great...I have no interest in going to a clinic (especially at this price) to be told "great...good...fine", and would love to leave with practical ideas/exercizes to work on correcting our problems.

    But it is funny...
    pelham...check.
    crooked...check.
    inconsistent pace...check.
    leaning and bad use of corners...check.
    working all winter on trot/walk jumps to sloooow busy mare...check.

    I can't wait...really...!! I think my coach would say I do listen and try, so I think we will be OK there. And I will certainly show him respect by turning out properly!
    Just practice using your corners I think that is the one thing that really gets on his nerves.

    He doesn't mind a pelham, if that is what the horse needs. In my case, we had a pony that was strong, so we bitted her up to keep her under control. In reality, what he noticed is that she was rushing because she felt trapped, and the more "bit" the worse she got. brought back down to a mild snaffle, and she was much more confidant, so didn't feel the need to "take charge" if that makes sense. There were two people with pelhams at the last clinic, and one in my last clinic (in 2009).

    When I took my extremely sensitive over-reactive TB mare, he took her from a full cheek Dr. Bristol (that I thought was the same as a french link), into a herm Sprenger Duo ring rubber mouth snaffle, and I actually was getting contact!

    And he's definitely a hotty My students mom was in shock at how young he was, she had George Morris pictured in her head.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    12,252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    Looks like we'll be in the same session, but I'm only doing Sat. and Sun. I would like to do the 3' section, but I have a young horse and don't want to overwhelm him.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice on what to expect. I audited his clinic several years ago when my friend (Three Bears Farm owner) rode in it, and I remember liking it, but I can't remember specifics.

    It'll be my first clinic in several years. The last one I did was Bert Mutch, which I LOVED.
    ENVIOUS!

    Sounds like the youngster is coming along nicely... you must send me pics!
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  19. #19
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    Jan. 30, 2003
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    GA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_girl221 View Post
    And he's definitely a hotty My students mom was in shock at how young he was, she had George Morris pictured in her head.
    Additional note to self...send DH home after he hauls us to the farm and tell him to come back Sunday afternoon...check. :-)

    I am going to try the stirrup leather thing this weekend. This is one of the things my friend liked so much about his clinic...he had many practical tricks/exercizes/interesting things to try based on what issue he was trying to fix.

    Very much looking forward to his thoughts on bitting with my mare. I didn't assume he was a pelham-hater based on comments, just that he might want to see how things went with a snaffle.



  20. #20
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    Apr. 30, 2009
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    Currituck NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roisin View Post
    Additional note to self...send DH home after he hauls us to the farm and tell him to come back Sunday afternoon...check. :-)

    I am going to try the stirrup leather thing this weekend. This is one of the things my friend liked so much about his clinic...he had many practical tricks/exercizes/interesting things to try based on what issue he was trying to fix.

    Very much looking forward to his thoughts on bitting with my mare. I didn't assume he was a pelham-hater based on comments, just that he might want to see how things went with a snaffle.
    Twill depend This year's clinic, he put one of the girls on a big heavy QH in a gag.



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